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NZ Water Quality Standards

Water Quality standards are limits set by official agencies, essentially like governments, based on scientific advice. When drinking New Zealand water or swimming in oceans, rivers or lakes, water quality standards indicate the safety of doing so.

Drinking Water

Water suppliers and other government organisations are required to monitor water quality:

  1. Monitor the quality of their source water at the abstraction points following drinking water safety guidelines.

  2. Follow compliance rules, including specific monitoring requirements for complex water supply scenarios.

  3. Report results of water quality monitoring to Taumata Arowai, and Taumata Arowai to provide regional councils with the results annually.

Is My Water Safe to Drink?

As a developed country, New Zealand is fortunate that most of the population has access to clean drinking water. Safe and adequate sanitation is what makes most of New Zealand drinking water drinkable.

Working with Iwi to Listen to the Wai and Protect the Health Well Being of Aotearoa Maori Water

Swimming and Recreational Use

Recreational Water Standards define the maximum concentrations of contaminants in water before it becomes risky for people and the environment. Meaning that if recreational standards are followed, beaches and lakes are safe for the community to fish in, surf in, and swim in.

Where Can I Swim?

Before going swimming, checking for up-to-date information can be crucial, especially in the warmer months. At the monitoring site level, there can be statistical uncertainty associated with each swimming category.

Water Quality Monitoring enabling Recreational Water Activity

Farming and Freshwater

National Environmental Standards (NES) are rules that apply to freshwater and farming. The National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (NES-F) follow NES. Still, they relate specifically to minimising activities that pose risks to the health of freshwater and freshwater ecosystems due to farming activities.

Am I Following National Environmental Standards?

National Environmental Standards (NES) include legal regulations related to farming and the freshwater environment. Introduced regulations touch on Intensive Winter Grazing (IWG), synthetic nitrogen fertiliser use, land use, stocking holding and wetlands protection. Fish passage and river standards are also touched on.

Nitrate Sensor Water Quality Monitor NZ
New Zealand Environmental Water Quality Monitoring with Real Time Io T Artificial Intelligence Water Monitor RW

New Zealand Water Quality Guidelines

Stay up to date with New Zealand farming and freshwater-related news. As freshwater standards change, we’re committed to ever-developing new, innovative technology to help monitor water quality, which abides by government farming water regulations.

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Drinking Water Guidelines

New Zealand drinking water quality standards require organisations to monitor drinking water quality at the source, follow compliance rules, and report results to Taumata Arowai.

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Swimming Water Standards

Swimming water quality standards are set by official agencies based on scientific advice. They require water to contain no more than a maximum amount of contaminants to prevent risk to people.

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Farming Water Compliance

Farming water compliance follows guidelines that must be followed to ensure agriculture activities are not contributing to water pollution, including maximum nutrient levels, like nitrate and phosphate.

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Drinking Water Guidelines

New Zealand drinking water quality standards require organisations to monitor drinking water quality at the source, follow compliance rules, and report results to Taumata Arowai.

Learn More